Monday, 29 June 2015

Responsible Journalists !

Is Meirion Jones feeling the heat at last ? He was asked some rather awkward question's by someone NOT blocked by him on twitter. 

I have not included other tweets made by Jones today. I class myself as a 'responsible' blogger you see and I cannot be sure that certain remarks published could be damaging to another's reputation ! You see there is such a thing as 'responsible journalism' I learned a little about this concept last Tuesday. I don't fully understand it so I'll give you the ten points of responsible journalism as the law stood in 2004

New guidelines came into play with the Defamation Act of 2013 
Read that last bit again 

Editors wanting to use the defence will still have to establish that copy is balanced and neutral and that thorough steps were taken to verify the facts.

Note that I am only imparting to the reader what the law says.  Consider the following : Did Meirion Jones or any other journalist for that matter, take these 'thorough steps' when they committed to a permanent form, accusations made against various men by Savile accuser's including Karin Ward ? Because, that is what these journalists did when they recorded Karin Ward's words ! The fact that Jones does not appear to have even checked when the Clunk Click episode featuring Freddie Starr, was recorded, could lead a reasonable person to conclude that he had not behaved responsibly ! 
The result of this being that a very SERIOUS allegation was made about a man who was subsequently, arrested and re-arrested several times over a significant period. 
Here's another one of those 'Six things all journalists need to know'

Amazing how Jones now volunteers anyone who asks, Karin Ward's actual date of birth. I don't remember him sharing that information before today. He's more than welcome to correct me if I am wrong !

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 7 'Source' for the gander/s

Blimey those seats at the Royal Courts of Justice are hard ! So, guys and gals, SOME of you will be aware that the Frederick Starr v Karin Ward libel case ended on Wednesday. The judgement will be published in due course and I have no idea how things will play out. I do however know what was said on Tuesday 23rd June, because I was there. The press however, were not, so while we wait for Justice Nichol (a good egg from what I saw) to make his decision, I'll give you an outline of what I heard during the closing submissions. 
David Price (DP) for the defence argues that KW should not have been sued because she had provided information to the media on the grounds of public interest.

He went on to submit that, only those who would have been aware of the claims would identify Freddie from her web memoir. He had not been named, so no-one watching the eventual broadcast of Wards' interview would have KNOWN it was him she was referring to.
When asked by Judge Nichol (J) about the number of 'views' of her online memoir, DP stated that there had been "  significant but unknown number of readers"
Now, let me explain a bit about this memoir because later on in the proceedings, it was confirmed that Ward had STARTED to write this in 2008. I have no idea WHEN this appeared online in 'fanstory' and I have no idea WHICH version Meirion Jones read prior to his actions on October 31st 2011. Because, there have been VARIOUS versions of this work the latest making it into paperback and other formats.
The original version was deleted from the site but not before Fiona managed to copy it, according to her that is

I provide the above for information only and in the public interest.  
 There was some argument about whether it was incumbent on the claimant to produce actual viewing figures. There was also discussion between the Judge and Freddie's barrister DD as to whether the claim form (pleadings) used to words 'slander' or 'libel' but the Judged confirmed that he would consider this and any amendment applications in his final judgement.

 Now, here's where things got interesting because DP introduces new words to describe people such as one of the witnesses, Susan. He referred to her as a "Savile Denier" and Savile denier's see this case as being really about Savile. The defendant Karin Ward is, to Savile denier's, the "poster girl" of the Savile case !

DD for the claimant FS started his closing submissions covering the issue of Ward's interview on camera, being a "permanent form" that could be played, listened to and repeated on other occassions. But it's not just libel at the point of broadcast, it's libel the moment she makes her claims to the journalists on camera.
There followed a discussion about whether the claimant was suing for slander or libel. This issue is way too complicated for me and is therefore best left to the legals to sort out. The Judge says that the claim form itself cites slander in regard to the " ITV wordings " 

DD described the harm done to his client's 'reputation'. The importance of which cannot be underestimated.

The defendant, he says does not plead 'responsible journalism'. She is the SOURCE of the information. It's only the BBC. ITV etc who can take the necessary steps to ensure 'responsible journalism'. He cites the 'Jameel' case so I include it FYI only.

DD submits that Ward is responsible for the republishing of the defamatory remarks because she gave ITV permission to use  her filmed interview. MWT told the court that "in this particular matter it was verbal authorisation" She had given "onscreen acceptance" and was happy for it to be used "as we saw fit"

I didn't get to hear what permissions were sought by the BBC. But, KW did refer to Freddie in the taped/filmed interview on 14th November 2011. I know this because Meirion Jones told Pollard that he knew about the 'comedian'. Wards recollections of the events are very different !

 Now, this is what was published in the press the day after Exposure minus Ward's interview was broadcast !

But, who would have known that the person Ward refers to on October 3rd 2012 was the claimant ? I have no idea but I do know that everyone who could read or hear KNEW who it was a few days later. 

DD submitted that the claims made by KW could have resulted in a prison sentence for his client. She said he had groped her, she was, at the very least a 14 year old schoolgirl, that being the only age she had given during the filmed interview ! 

But she wasn't 14 was she ? I am reliably informed that this episode of clunk click was recorded in March 1974, by the end of the month, Ward would have been 16. 
Ward's stated age managed to increase a year sometime between her fffffouteen statement and this court case. If she didn't tell the press she was just 14, then who did ? 

 Let's see what the Judge makes of all this. I'm told his decision will be published in a few weeks. In the meantime, time for a rest ! 




Saturday, 20 June 2015

An audience of monkey's !

If you're wondering how the 'play' at the Finsbury Park theater, I an tell you now. It's doing very well ! Playing to a full house, some nights. I was a tad saddened to learn this until I came across this on Moor Larkin's blog
 Park 90, as it's name suggests has an audience capacity of 90. There are however, two theater's in this glorified arts centre. The larger space holds 200 ! Just 200 hundred guys and gals, yes you heard that right.
The venue describes itself as 'off West end', 11 minutes (presumably by tube) from where the real theater's are. 
Off West End or not, Park200 has attracted the great and the good from theater critic world, can't think why ? From the Islington Gazette to the telegraph and more, it seems just about every media outlet , has either seen or has promoted this nasty event.
157 articles on or related to this play. Amazing when you think how many have been produced about Karin Ward's libel trial this week. Google it, tell me how many you find, I'm tired of looking.
For some reason, extra nights have been added to this 'off West end' production. NAPAC are well pleased as they are profiting out of the experience.
But, don't believe the hype guys and gals. Look a bit closer at the audience figures. Looks like folk tend to purchase their tickets on the day or closely before. 
Yes, all concerned seem to be doing OK out of the character assassination of a dead DJ who never uttered a bad word about anyone in public ! Park200 might have an audience of liars 

But, Park90 has it's dead monkey and not knowing what this is about makes it hard to decide which is the most tasteless 
 The venue's boss is over the moon ! I doubt he's seen so many folk through his doors, or ever will again. So many, they've put on two extra nights !
 There is indeed, 'much to be learnt from this DISGUSTING piece of our society's history' But I doubt Jez and his pals will be admitting that anytime soon !
And neither will Jonny Maitland or Alistair McGowan be admitting it either. But I could care less guys and gals because I know that even with a hundred more nights, off or on, 'West end', they will never attract the audiences Jimmy did. Here's jus a few of the 35,000 who showed up at the end of one of his charity walks, this one in Dublin in 1971 I think it was. 
It's in his 1974 book 'As it happens', as it happens !
Have a great weekend !

Friday, 19 June 2015

Day 5 MacKean takes the stand

I was going to report that nothing had been reported by anyone about Freddie's case today. Then I got a tip-off via twitter !
 And that's it, guys and gals ! But hang on, there is always more isn't there ? I took the opportunity to ask Ms MacKean if she knew how old Ward was the night she attended the Shepherds Bush studios for the show featuring Freddie Starr. Naturally, she hasn't replied and I didn't expect her to !
You see, I spent a fair bit of time today trying to establish how the press arrived at the idea that Ward was 14 when this visit took place. As far a I can see, she has never actually said herself that SHE she was 14. She's repeatedly spoke of other 'victims' being 14. She said that she thought the girl allegedly having sex with Gary Glitter in the dressing room, was 14. But, as far as I'm aware, she's never said that she herself was 14 in March/April 1974.
I'll come back to this mirror article from October 2012 another time, after the trial. But in the meantime, let's see how the  broadsheets handled the subject of Ward's age 
OK, the Guardian obviously hasn't bothered to check the finer details. It doesn't say she was 14 when Savile visited, but that is what is being implied is it not ? Even if you disagree with me, you'd be hard pressed to argue that they couldn't have worked out that a woman of 54 in October 2012, could NOT possibly have been a girl of 14 in March/April 1974. 
I've spoken before about the importance of the age these women say they were when they were allegedly abused by Jimmy Savile.
The Guardian was looking ahead of the Times in October 2012, when the latter managed to reduce Ward's actual age even further !
 And, her local press have her even younger !

Who knows if Ward, deliberately misled the public via the media in regards to her age. At the very least, they should have checked her credibility before using her to destroy Jimmy's name. And now, the words of the man who offered evidence 'in support of Karin Ward'. His take on Jimmy's 1974 autobiography 'As it happens'
Insert any age you like Mr Thomas but don't expect us to believe you or any other hack, be it tabloid or broadsheet !

But what about Liz ? What could she have had to say for herself this morning ? I have no idea as yet but I do know what she and her pal Meirion have said in interviews since the 'scandal' broke. But that's for next time guys and gals, as it happens !

Update 21.42 19th June 

Liz MacKean responded to my tweet. She does not appear to know how old Karin Ward was in March/April 1974. At least she answered !


Thursday, 18 June 2015

Day 4 - the boys take the stand !

What press reportage do we have today guys and gals ? Nothing, not one single report as far as I'm aware despite the fact that both MWT and Meirion Jones attended to give evidence this morning ! We only know this because both of these big-heads, told us !
Then, it was off to the matinee performance of his pal's play and a place on a panel post performance to take questions of a very different sort !
Not sure how Meirion arrived at the court, or Thomas for that matter. I doubt any media helicopters flew overhead to capture the moment
Thomas tells us he was there, 'in support of Karin Ward'. My understanding was that he was there because he HAD to be. 

 Not sure how Liz Dux and her media entourage would arrive, in the event she ever had to attend such a hearing.
 Join me for another court round-up tomorrow guys and gals ! Wonder if the other Liz turned out today ? I'm sure we'll find out eventually